Socialist elites in Venezuela have expressed little concern about United States sanctions that may fall upon them. While Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others strive to engage Congress in passing targeted sanctions against human rights abusers in the country, Chavistas are using the opportunity to blame America for the socialist regime’s abuses.
This week, Rubio, who has been at the forefront of the movement within Congress to sanction Venezuelan elites for the ongoing human rights abuses against protesters in the South American country, questioned the Obama administration’s refusal to support the sanctions.
In a strongly-worded letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Rubio noted that Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said publicly that one reason the administration does not support sanctions is because opposition leaders “who are participating in the dialogue” with the Maduro regime requested that the United States not get involved. This turned out to be false, as the head of the Democratic Unity Table (MUD), Ramón Guillermo Acevedo, immediately denied that his group, which has been in talks with the Maduro regime, had made any such request to the American government. Jacobson subsequently claimed to have “misspoken” on the matter.
“I am deeply troubled about the mixed signals and message of impunity the Administration is sending to the Maduro regime and its enablers as its repressive machine ramps up the brutality of human rights abuses inflicted on peaceful demonstrators,” Rubio concluded. On the Senate floor, Rubio informed the Senate of the lavish behavior Venezuelan oligarchs profiting off the Maduro regime conduct in the United States, particularly in his state of Florida, in March. Subsequent reports have unearthed millions human rights violators and their cronies in Miami have spent on mansions, yachts, gilded iPhones, and other assorted luxuries.
At least one Venezuelan politician, previously accused of having money and property abroad, defied the proposition of sanctions against socialist Venezuelan leaders. Mayor Jorge Rodríguez of Libertador, Carabobo, said at a press conference on Monday that “it would be an honor” to be sanctioned by the United States for human rights abuses. “We would like to reflect upon the holy sanctions that the northern empire is preparing against us,” he told the press. “I believe they still have not gotten used to the idea that we are free, independent, sovereign, and we do not care very much about sanctions and opinions coming from the United States government.”
The Venezuelan government’s denigration of the United States harkens back to the early days of the Hugo Chávez dictatorship, from which the Maduro regime stems. Maduro himself has recently gone on rampages against the United States government and the more conservative sectors of American politics. In response to the opposition’s refusal to continue crisis talks this week, Maduro blamed the Tea Party for “threatening” the opposition out of speaking to the government.